Public Health England (PHE) are an organisation who advise and support the government, local authorities and the NHS in a professional independent manner. They use intelligence, knowledge, advocacy, partnerships and world class science to protect the nation’s health and wellbeing.
PHE have identified that oral health plays such an important role in general health and have created the oral health toolkit that is full of evidence-based information that clinicians can use when advising their patients about the choices they make and how these choices can improve and maintain both their dental and general health.
The toolkit works on the emphasis of prevention and in the third edition Public Health England supports a new approach, this being all patients regardless of perceived risk level, should be given oral health preventative advice and offered preventative treatment. By doing this, patients can establish new social norms for better home care.
The evidence based oral health toolkit for prevention is divided into sections, these are shown below:
- Section 1 Summary guidance for primary dental care teams
- Section 2 Principles of toothbrushing for oral health
- Section 3 Increasing fluoride availability. Fluoridation of water and milk. Toothpaste – list of current products by fluoride concentration level. Fluoride varnish. Prescribing high concentration fluoride toothpaste. Prescribing additional fluoride – tablets and rinses.
- Section 4 Healthy eating advice. Dietary advice to prevent dental caries. General good dietary practice guidelines. Diet diary.
- Section 5 Sugar-free medicines
- Section 6 Improving periodontal health.
- Section 7 Smoking and tobacco use.
- Section 8 Alcohol misuse and oral health.
- Section 9 Prevention of erosion.
- Section 10 Helping patients to change their behaviour.
- Section 11 Supporting references.
The different sections and summary guidance make the toolkit clear and easy to understand allowing dental professionals and other health and social agencies to give consistent, coherent advice when delivering oral health instruction.
Each month I will be discussing the different sections in more detail with my next article looking closer at section one, summary guidance for Primary dental care teams.
From my own experience of using the oral health toolkit it is so easy to use. Filled with evidence-based information that has helped me when giving my patients preventative oral health advice and care.
I would recommend that all practices have a copy readily available, so staff have access to this fantastic preventative tool incorporating the updated knowledge and oral care messages into your daily routine, developing a preventive approach to your practice.
Written by Emma Edwards RDN
NEBDN National Certificate in Dental Nursing, NEBDN Dental Sedation Nursing, NEBDN Oral Health Education , NEBDN Dental Radiography, Kings Certificate in Implant Nursing, Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management, Level 3 Award in Education and Training.